The Q&A: Meet Steve Ellul

Steve Ellul is a Labour Party candidate for the MEP election

Labour MEP candidate Steve Ellul
Labour MEP candidate Steve Ellul


Is the European Union relevant to the Maltese?

Overall, the EU is vital for Malta's economic growth, social progress, and environmental sustainability. EU membership provides substantial economic benefits, including access to the single market and significant funding for infrastructure and development projects. Socially, EU membership allows Maltese citizens to travel, work, and study freely across member states, enriching their cultural and educational experiences. Environmentally, the EU supports Malta in implementing strict regulations, promoting sustainability, and funding projects that address climate change, waste management, and renewable energy.

The greatest success of the EU remains the fact that, for generations, we have managed to maintain peace on the continent. Unfortunately, some EU politicians, including those with the power to affect change like Roberta Metsola, are now focusing on wars, armaments, and the number of tanks at our borders. In contrast, we should be working towards peace.

For decades, we have taken peace in Europe for granted. I hope that future generations, like mine and those before, will also experience enduring peace. However, achieving this requires concerted effort in the EU institutions. There is no progress without peace. That is why I am committed to helping build a coalition for peace with other like-minded progressives who aim to secure a stable and peaceful future for our children.

The Maltese electorate is motivated by issues that are local and often partisan. Does this not make it more difficult for you to campaign?

Not at all. Local issues are European issues, and European issues are local issues. Throughout the election campaign, I've engaged with people from all walks of life. Every day, I meet young people, seniors, busy workers, trade unionists, and experienced entrepreneurs who are eager to improve their lives and our country. The recurring themes in these conversations are price stability and peace of mind. Many express relief that energy prices in Malta remained stable, unlike the situation in other parts of Europe. They emphasise the importance of defending the right to energy subsidies within the European Union.

For the elderly, one word stands out: pensions. They repeatedly tell me how the recent pension increases have significantly improved their lives, a stark contrast to a few years back when pensions were stagnant. Their faces light up as they describe being better able to care for their children and grandchildren.

There's also a strong sentiment about the importance of not harming our country. Many feel disheartened by seeing Maltese MEPs who, while defending other countries, do not hesitate to criticise Malta. The electorate wants MEPs to unite and advocate for Malta's interests.

Malta has a small representation in the European parliament. Can it be influential?

A Member of the European Parliament must be firm, convincing, and capable of uniting diverse parties. Competence is crucial, ensuring that our positions are well-informed and thoroughly researched. We should avoid claiming any special status or divine right to dictate to others. Instead, we must emphasize Malta's unique characteristics as a small, insular island on the outskirts of the European Continent, recognising that not every law will suit our specific needs.

We can transform these challenges into opportunities and serve as a model for Europe in various areas. Malta has a proven track record of success, exemplified by achievements of Maltese MEPs. For instance, Joseph Muscat played a pivotal role in drafting legislation that resulted in lower mobile telephony bills across Europe through regulated roaming charges. Similarly, Miriam Dalli successfully united different factions within the European Parliament to legislate for cleaner vehicle emissions.

When equipped with competence and a clear vision, we can make impactful decisions. Malta's contributions in the past illustrate our potential to continue being effective and influential within the EU.

Why are you so motivated to stand as a member of the European parliament?

We need competent individuals who can effectively persuade and negotiate within the European Union Parliament. They must be proficient at uniting political parties, factions, and diverse opinions to ensure that European directives and laws are beneficial for both the EU and Malta. This task is particularly crucial in the coming years, as the next five years will shape the EU for decades to come. Key issues on the agenda include digital and environmental transition, along with legislation concerning finance, artificial intelligence, and labour market.

With my experience across various fields and my distinctive qualities, I believe I can play a pivotal role in achieving these objectives.

Ewropej Funded by the European Union

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The action was co-financed by the European Union in the frame of the European Parliament's grant programme in the field of communication. The European Parliament was not involved in its preparation and is, in no case, responsible for or bound by the information or opinions expressed in the context of this action. In accordance with applicable law, the authors, interviewed people, publishers or programme broadcasters are solely responsible. The European Parliament can also not be held liable for direct or indirect damage that may result from the implementation of the action.

More in Ewropej 2024